Florida is a beautiful state, one with a climate that makes it easy to get outside and take a leisurely walk. Unfortunately, our state is also incredibly dangerous when it comes to doing just that. Florida is, in fact, the most dangerous state for pedestrians.
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to a pedestrian accident. A distracted driver might be too busy talking or texting on their smartphone to realize someone has walked into their path, for example.
No matter what the cause of your pedestrian accident, the attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be ready to help you hold those responsible for your suffering accountable. We’ll do everything we can to help obtain the compensation you deserve so that you can recover the damages you’ve incurred.
How Does Florida Compare to the Rest of the United States for Pedestrian Accident Injuries and Fatalities?
Not well, to say the least. According to the National Safety Council, 6,205 people lost their lives in pedestrian accidents across the U.S. in 2019, accounting for 17.2% of all traffic-related deaths. According to a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Florida, along with California, Georgia, Texas and Arizona, account for nearly 50% of all pedestrian deaths.
Florida is the Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians
It’s not a stretch to say that Florida is actually the most dangerous state in the U.S. to take a walk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 713 pedestrians died in Florida in 2019 – the most in the state in the previous 10 years.
Researchers from Smart Growth America (SGA) found that an astounding 5,893 people were killed in pedestrian accidents between 2000-2019. Due to these numbers, SGA gave Florida a rating of 201.4 on their pedestrian danger index. Alabama was a distant second, with a rating of 174.6.
What Types of Injuries Occur as a Result of Pedestrian Accidents?
The types of injuries that can result when a vehicle hits a pedestrian can obviously be devastating. These are just a few of the more common ones that occur.
- Soft tissue injuries – These include sprains, muscle tears, lacerations and others. Even though this is on the lower scale of the injuries that can happen in a pedestrian accident, they can still lead to years of severe pain, as well as permanent disfigurement.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a type of head injury that can result in years of debilitation. Research indicates that pedestrians hit by a vehicle have a 90% chance of suffering at least a moderate head injury, and an 18% percent chance of a severe TBI. Symptoms can last for a lifetime, and include loss of coordination, severe headaches, difficulty concentrating and/or speaking, dizziness and many others.
- Spinal cord injuries – The impact of a vehicle hitting the human body can include spinal cord damage that can result in permanent paralysis, or even death. This kind of injury can result in the need for long-term care that can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Where Do Most Accidents Occur in Florida?
According to the SGA report, seven of the 13 most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians are located in Florida. These include the following:
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: No. 4
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach: No. 5
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton: No. 6
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: No 8
- Lakeland-Winter Haven: No 9
- Jacksonville: No. 10
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers: No. 11
When Do Most Accidents Occur?
One of the most important factors that determine how pedestrian accidents occur is the time of day. Fatalities will typically occur at night on local roads that are away from city lights, because motorists simply can’t see someone trying to cross the street.
Researchers at Arizona State University found a distinct difference between the times of day that injuries in pedestrian accidents occur, and the times of day where these accidents are more likely to result in a fatality. According to the researchers, most injuries take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The hours between 3-6 p.m. are the peak times for injuries.
Pedestrian fatalities, on the other hand, are more likely to happen between 5:30-11 p.m. More pedestrian accidents occur on Friday and Saturday, while the fewest occur on Sunday.
The researchers surmised that most accidents take place between 3-6 p.m. because this is typically the time of day when there’s the most traffic, as people are coming home from work. There are several factors that could explain why most pedestrian fatalities happen at night. These include pedestrians and drivers who are drunk, as well as poor visibility.
The Average Age, Sex, and Class of Pedestrians Killed in Florida
According to the SGA report, it appears that older people, as well as those in lower-income neighborhoods, are at the highest risk of being killed. People of color are also at an exceedingly high risk. SGA reported that the number of fatalities among Black pedestrians was 82% higher than Whites from 2010-2019.
Older people – especially those who are 75 years of age or older – are often struck because they have issues either hearing or seeing oncoming vehicles. They’re also unable to move fast enough to potentially get out of harm’s way.
Those in lower-income neighborhoods are at a higher risk because these areas oftentimes don’t have marked crosswalks or sidewalks. The SGA researchers stated they believe this is the case because many state and local agencies are more interested in blaming pedestrians than they are addressing the role that roadway design may play in causing these accidents. The researchers say many of these agencies are more focused on speed (or reducing delays for motorists) than safety.
Were You Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact Eberst Law Firm ASAP
If you were hit by a vehicle, or you tragically lost a loved one in this type of accident, you’re going to have a lot of questions. The pedestrian accident attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be here to answer them. We will work passionately to help you get the money you deserve.